Thursday, December 10, 2009

Oregon Trail

Half was through my first trip to Oregon, the jury is still out on how I feel about this supposed bike capitol of Amurica. The trip so far has had pretty unusual weather for this area. For the last 3 or 4 days in Portland, the high temps have been below freezing and I don't know if I've seen a cloud since we got here last Friday. Not really sure what I prefer, sub-freezing and dry or kinda cold and wet. Either way, the course conditions were very un-Portland. Virtually no mud all weekend and as a sign of the apocalypse, a bunch of people were actually running file-treads on Sunday of the USGP. Insanity.

The story for my racing continues to be the same since I came back a couple weeks ago. Just no where near the legs that I had before. Saturday was an extraordinary case of no legs and a poor result, "and that's all I have to say about that." I did still have a pretty good time racing with so many fans out to cheer me on. It was also nice to see some familiar faces all the way out here in Oregon. So thanks to all you guys who helped me get through that long day on the bike.

Sunday was a new day and I tried to go out there with a positive mindset, even though I haven't had much success of late. I just keep telling myself that there is just as good of a chance that I'll have good legs like the "old days" as there is that I'll have bad legs again. Well, Sunday was a definite step forward. I didn't get a result to write home about, losing out on a sprint for 19th, but for the first time in a while I felt like I was racing and not just trying to stop a life raft from sinking. Although I feel like I'm still a long way from what I'm capable of, or where I was pre decimated collar bone, I look down the list of people who finished in front of me and I don't really see too many people who I'm embarrassed to finish behind, those were quality fields.

After the GP's we killed some time in Portland with a few cool rides/ coffee shop tours. We met up with THE cyclocross Portlander, Molly Cameron for a little ride around the eastern hills of "PDX". The riding and scenery is pretty amazing, I think it would be an awesome place to do some training in the summer, but as far as winter riding goes... give me Bloomington. We made the trek down here to Bend yesterday with a cool drive through the Cascade range and a trip to Mt. Hood. Bend has a handful of inches of snow and it looks like it's going to lead to come crazy conditions for my race on Sunday. Think KC Nats 07, with more snow and a little colder temps. Can't wait.

The course is open for some pre-riding today at noon, so I'm out of here.

You can find some good course condition previews here:

Podium Insight

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Jingle Cross Report

Not much to speak of on the results side of things from Jingle Cross, but the weekend was about as good as it could have been considering I was creepin'.

Anywho, my dad decided to come out to the races with me and it turned out to be almost necessary to have someone working the pits for you, so that was nice. Plus it was some quality time with him away from work. He learned the ropes of pitting pretty quickly and seemed to be enjoying it. The only problem was that he was tied to the pits all race and couldn't do his usual sprinting around the course yelling for me like you may have witnessed before.

So about the racing. Friday I ripped my rear derailleur off a long way from a spare bike and so I DNF'd.

Saturday we spent all morning at Lowes and the local bike shop Geoff's Bike and Ski, trying to get my other bike working again. Long story, but with some handy mechanic work, we got it up and "functioning" with a whopping 30 minutes to spare. Yeah that's right, I got to the race 30 min before the start. Never done that in a cross race before. So I got kitted, guessed on a tire pressure and tried to guess what would be around each corner for the first lap. It didn't really matter in the end because I went pretty slow and was a non-factor in the race.

Sunday we took our sweet time in the hotel and ate a nice breakfast and rolled to the course plenty early, but non of that really mattered because I had shit for legs again. Not really sure why, but it was more than an inconvenience all weekend. It was quite apparent that was was going nowhere fast and really wanted to save myself the embarrassment and drop out, but I really needed the workout anyway, so I kept trying and kept going backwards. I do want to give a huge thank you to Brian and all the guys from Geoff's Bike and Ski for getting a massive cheering block together for me on Sunday. After all that time we spent together working on my bike on Saturday, we became pals and so Brian told his pals that he and I were now pals and before I knew it I had an embarrassingly large gallery running with me and following my slow ass all over that course, causing a scene and slapping my but on the regular. It was pretty crazy that I went to Iowa knowing no one other than a few of my competitors and my dad, and by Sunday had a mob of about 30 people yelling for me. Thanks a lot guys! You made a pretty miserable day on the bike a whole lot better!

Next update will be coming from Portland. See ya out there!